Categories
Writing craft

Proofreading Like a Pro #60

kathy-ide

Hi! I’m Kathy Ide. In addition to being a published author, I’m a full-time professional freelance editor. For CAN, I’m blogging about proofreading and editing tips for writers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Writing Business

A Writer’s Confession

BobHostetlerBob Hostetler here, offering another prayer for writers:

Lord God Almighty, I confess that I have sinned against you through my own fault, in thought and word and deed, by what I have done and by what I have left undone.

I confess that I have too often trusted my own strength instead of relying on yours;
I have let my puny ability suffice when I could have and should have laid hold of your ready power.

I confess that I have chased after mammon, and written for mere money,
instead of seeking first your kingdom and your glory, and writing to please you.

I confess that I have been jealous of other writers and their success,
and have been ungrateful for all the kindness you have shown me.

I confess that I have taken shortcuts in my writing
and have been lazy in the hard work of planning and researching,
of editing and rewriting,
of reviewing and proofreading.

I confess that I have neglected prayer,
as if my activity is more important than yours in my writing.

I confess that I have chosen leisure over discipline,
speed over craft,
and my voice instead of your voice.

Thank you for the assurance of your forgiveness through my Lord, Jesus Christ.
_________________

Bob’s latest book is The Bard and the Bible, available now via Bob’s website or at fine Christian retailers everywhere.

Categories
Marketing

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

This is a hard to swallow quote for those of us who write and sell words. But it was someone just like us who, allegedly,  first uttered this

now timeless catchy phrase. In 1927, newspaper journalist Fred R. Barnard, shared this quote to express the need for a photo to accompany important articles and ads. And the principle has never been more vital than in today’s digitally cluttered cyberspace.

I asked one friend of mine, author, Linda Goldfarb, if I could share a few of her personality-packed photos to give all of us authors, speakers, bookstore owners, a fresh way to reframe our mission, our platform, our brand and perhaps even the way we present the gospel.

As you plan your own photo shoot, ask three simple questions:

Who is my audience? Be as specific as you can, then go in search of examples of images that this audience has responded to. What has gone viral? Whose Instagram images are the most followed? Linda is popular with those who value a balance of the Biblical wisdom mixed with authentic transparency, humor and the hope of overcoming whatever obstacle life might send their way. This series of photos capture all these priorities .  (On her website these images rotate automatically!)

Who am I? What do I want conveyed to my audience? Do my images match

who I am in person? Do they match my personality? Do they represent my calling?  Am I approachable  and easy to relate to in this image?  This image of Linda and her husband captures the wide variety of who they are as a couple.  Linda explains, “Sam and I are known as the Trans-Parent-Farbs!”

 

 

In our ministry, this image of Bill kissing me has had huge emotional impact, especially when linked to our Red Hot Monogamy or Red Hot Romance Tips for Women books. This photo captures that more than success in writing or speaking, it is success in our marriage that really matters to us. (And is is what we hope and pray our Love-Wise ministry helps as many couples as possible achieve.

What is my mission? Ask yourself, “How can I get others to feel about my calling, passion and mission, the same way I feel about it?” Or “List images you have seen that helped you feel called into the ministry you have today. For example, Bill and I are “marriage missionaries”, much in part to the chaotic, and anger-filled homes we grew up in. So images of couples in conflict will always catch my eye—and cause me to want to take action to give those in the photo a better, happier life!That is why when I saw this photo of Linda and her husband, it caught my heart, and my eye, and inspired this blog!

 

Take some time and think through then talk through your ideas for images that will best represent you, your mission and reach your audience. It will be worth the time to create the image that will be “picture perfect!”

(photo of Pam and Bill  and signature photo of the Farrels are by Rebecca Friedlander)

Pam and Bill on beach
Pam and Bill on beach

Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship experts, authors of 45 books, including Men Are Like Waffle, Women Are Like Spaghetti , and co-directors of Love-Wise.com

Categories
Marketing

It Takes a Network!

Marketing in today’s world takes a team—a well- oiled machine of wisdom–  or at least a circle of friends committed to share each other’s PR and “street team” nuggets so everyone moves their ministry and business forward.  This year at ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) the CAN Author Bootcamp was just that– a WEALTH OF CBA CAN auhtor boot camp pamWISDOM!~ ! In a wonderful “meeting of the minds” CBA (Christian Bookstore Association, CAN and Harvest House Publishers sponsored a very informative morning. I had the joy of kicking off the morning with a keynote on 7 Simple Skills to Success in Publishing where I shared  the God-empowered story of how Bill and I have survived and thrived for three decades in Christian publishing. (watch here (video thanks to Linda Goldfarb)

I have always loved passing right along any wisdom, connections, links, advice others have shared with me because this world is so dark that it takes ALL OF US holding up God’s light of love and truth to piece the darkness. Because of the world’s great need, we cannot, not should not, be selfish with the information we have gleaned or the advice others have passed on to us. That is what I love about CAN! Each person helping encourage and equip the other for greater success.

cba author bootcamp cba presI had the joy of hearing from so manty BRILLIANT leaders at the author bootcamp. Here is a quick list and my grateful THANKS! Because my husband and I learned SO MUCH TOO ) :

The Seinfeld Secret by Anita Agers Brooks

Websites and Plugins by Angela Breidenbach

15-Minute Writer by Dena Dyer

Marketing With Memes by Linda Kozar

Organizing Your Writing Life by Susan G. Mathis

Professional Organizations for Authors by Ava Pennington

CAN Your Marketing Movie by Maureen Pratt

Know Your Audience by Cynthia Ruchti

Reaching Reader Groups by Karen Whiting

Connect With Sponsors by Lynda T. Young

Ava Pennington shared a long list of organizations, affiliations, and networks that authors can join. Other than CAN, let me share four others that have been a source of encouragement, equipping and inspiration to me in this past year.

(Handouts from these mini seminars  available here)

cba author bootcamp Can bar harvest hosue

AWSA: Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. This group, started by author, Linda Shepherd, in 2011, is compromised of the top 10% of women Christian authors. AWSA hosts an annual summer conference the few days pam carol kent linda shepherd icrs 2013leading up to ICRS. In addition, they offer MasterMind groups for the more serious entrepreneur author; and a daily online “loop” filled with encouragement, equipping and positive support for the group’s members.

Bridge Builders: This is a new group to  most, but it’s founder, Maria Keckler is a long term friend of ours. We first met Maria when she and my husband, Bill, were both working for Dr David Jeremiah at Shadow Mountain Church in San Diego . Everything Maria has ever done is EXCELLENT A+ quality! I had the joy of being a cheerleader to her as she penned her first book, Be a Bridge Builder. She has gone on to create a power-packed online pam maria arlene at m hayattprogram for entrepreneurs’: Business Breakthrough University (of all kinds of businesses including writers/ speakers) . She is brave, bold, and Biblical and she has the ability to synthesize information gleaned from some of the world’s most successful business minds into a use to access, easy to implement format. Maria is a brilliant encourager and equipper who can take a person’s hopes and dreams and help turn them into a successful reality.

CWEN: Christian Women Entrepreneurs’ Network is a local (San Diego) networking group founded by Rebecca Garcia. These women, pam rebecca cwenfrom a wide variety of businesses, are joining together to equip one another, support one another but mostly grow in Christ so as they work their businesses they each reflect Jesus and glorify the God who gave them their talent, dream and platform.  If  you do a little research in your city or community,  you may have a similar network of Christians in Business.  I have three of four other local networking groups I speak for and am a member of– nothing like home town friends who you can hug, pray with and can pray for you!  If you can’t find one, maybe God is calling you to start one!

 

pam bill happy hug sail lightenedPam Farrel is the author of 45 books including best-selling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti. She and her husband, Bill, are Co-Directors of Love-Wise.com. When they are not writing, or speaking some place around the world, you will likely find them walking the beach or sailing.

 

Categories
Writing Business

Verbs

BobHostetlerBob Hostetler here, offering another prayer for writers:

 

I write today, Lord.
I will be using words, and some of them will be verbs.

Inspire them all, God, but especially the verbs.
Hover over them.
Speak them into existence.
Breathe into them the breath of life.

All my verbs come from you.
You are my “is.”
My “am.”
My “see,” my “know.”
You are my “laugh” and “cry,”
my “wake” and “sleep,”
“shiver” and “sweat,”
“think” and “speak,”
“jump” and “skip” and “dance” and “bounce.”

There is not an action in my day,
a movement of my bones,
a breath in my breast
or a word on my tongue
that does not come from you.

Let it be consciously so in my writing today.
And at the end of my day, with the final word on the page,
pronounce it good, in Jesus’ name, amen.

TRLPLBob’s latest book is The Red Letter Prayer Life, available now via Bob’s website or at fine Christian retailers everywhere. He is also the author of “31 Ways to Pray for Your Children,” an iPhone and iPad app available via iTunes.

Categories
Writing craft

Slush Pile Stories

Crystal Bowman
Crystal Bowman

Hello from Crystal Bowman! I’ve been writing for children for more than 20 years and am still learning the process because there is always more to know. I enjoy teaching and mentoring writers and prefer a positive instructional approach. I’d rather tell writers what to do rather than what not to do. But sometimes we can learn from our mistakes and even the mistakes of others. So this post is going to focus more on what not to do in order to keep your children’s story from landing in the slush pile.

Categories
Encouragement

What Arrows Assail You?

Kathy Collard Miller
Kathy Collard Miller

Hello from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert.

When I attended my first writers conference in 1980, writing legend Woody Wirt closed the final session by exclaiming, “I want you to say right now, ‘I am a writer.’”

I am a writer? It seemed dishonest to say such a thing. After all, I’d only had one article and one short story published. That didn’t seem to qualify as a true “writer.” What was a “true writer”? I didn’t know but I was convinced it didn’t refer to me. But being the People Pleaser I am, I wanted to “obey” what Woody was saying, so I paused, gulped, and mumbled, “I am a writer.”

Categories
Writing Business Writing craft

The Power of Positive Prose

 

"Maureen

Hello! Maureen Pratt, back again, for my monthly CAN Blog post. I’m very happy to be blogging today about the craft of writing and, specifically, the huge difference "writing positive prose" can make in describing characters, painting pictures, and conveying the heart of a story, be it fiction or non-fiction.

What do I mean by "positive?"

Given two possible ways of writing the same sentence, the more positive can be the strongest one to choose. Consider this description:

"Amy didn’t necessarily think she was beautiful, but she couldn’t believe that the casting director put her in secondary roles that didn’t allow her to take the lead and shine as much as she knew she could."

Now this one:

"Amy knew she was plain, but she was frustrated that the casting director put her in secondary roles that kept her in the background and prevented her from showing everyone what she could do."

Categories
Writing Business Writing craft

When Something Happens

Maureen Pratt, CAN Member-at-Large
Maureen Pratt

Hello, again!  Maureen Pratt here for my monthly blog post. And what a month it’s becoming! No doubt many of you have multiple works in progress gracing your keyboards, computer screens, notebooks, and imaginations. Some deadlines, too. The life of a working writer. And then…something happens. How do we handle health and other emergencies and keep our writing in mind and heart, too? We are writers, after all, and writers, well, we write.

As I write this, I am in the midst of a significant family emergency. One minute, I was working on a new magazine article, and hours later, wham!  Still consumed by the situation, I have come up for a bit of air – I know that other writers experience the same thing. Certainly those of us with ongoing health conditions have experienced “life intervening,” fracturing the fragile status that we create in which we pen our work. So, with this in mind, I have some suggestions for us working writers “when something happens, and especially how we can keep our writing skills going along the way:

Categories
Marketing

What are Influencers? by Jill Williamson

JillWilliamsonACFWHeadshotAn influencer is someone who dedicates themselves to helping spread the word about your book. You, or your publisher, compensate them by giving them a free copy of the novel.

Influencers can have a wide variety of influence. Maybe they are a librarian. Or a pastor’s wife. Or a school teacher. Or someone with a popular blog. Maybe they are a book reviewer. Or maybe they aren’t any of those things but do a great job at spreading the word about books.